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How is your church developing its Shepherding Leadership? Unlike established churches, new churches often have to spend very intentional time training and equipping leaders who are new to the role and calling of being shepherding leaders. The reality is that these leaders may have no formal biblical training and very little life experience in leading others in Biblical Godliness.
To intentionally develop these leaders, let's look at three areas over the next three months: Training, Coaching, and Mentoring.
Shepherding is about more than a bunch of meetings. It is a vital part of God’s design for the church. To train our shepherds is to take care of our congregation. But how do you train these leaders?
Training Shepherding Leaders
How much time do we take to train people in our congregations? We put about 90% of our time and energy into training church members, 9.9999% into our ministry leaders, and barely 0.0001% training our shepherding leadership or elders.
Our membership gets training though small groups, Sunday morning gatherings, and one-on-one contact. Our ministry leaders might go to leader meetings and training programs. But what about those we are expecting to guide and lead us? They have been largely neglected. If we want them to lead our churches, shouldn’t we invest in their development?
Setting the Tone
When we equip shepherding leaders, we should be training them to create and maintain an atmosphere of love. Here are some questions for your elders to consider as they help set the tone for your church:
Dependent on Prayer
A shepherding team that prays together, stays together. Their prayer is specific and authentic and permeates every gathering, not just the beginning of a meeting. Their prayers reflect their desire for God to lead the church. Members of a church whose leadership is praying for them should know they are being prayed for. Does your church know if you’re praying or not?
In the Word
Are your shepherds spending regular time in God’s word? Free them to read the Bible in order to shape their own hearts first. Let God’s view of your church as his bride define you. Work out your group’s understanding of Jesus. Who do you see he was in the Old and New Testaments? Who is he now as he moves through your church? Who will he be when he comes back?